PENTECONTER Greek galley

The vessel depicted on this stamp I could not find a drawing of her on the internet, but she was given as a 600 BC used Greek cargo galley. On the stamp is depict a one row vessel with a ram bow. At that time the Greeks used a penteconter Greek galley for war, piracy and transport.

The penteconter, alt. spelling pentekonter and pentaconter, also transliterated as pentecontor or pentekontor (Greek: πεντηκόντορος, pentekontoros "fifty-oared"),plural penteconters was an ancient Greek galley in use since the archaic period. In an alternative meaning, the term was also used for a military commander of fifty men in ancient Greece.
The penteconters emerged in an era when there was no distinction between merchant and war ships. They were versatile, long-range ships used for sea trade, piracy and warfare, capable of transporting freight or troops. A penteconter was rowed by fifty oarsmen, arranged in a row of twenty-five on each side of the ship. A midship mast with sail could also propel the ship under favourable wind. Penteconters were long and sharp-keeled ships, hence described as long vessels (νῆες μακραί, nḗes markaí ). They typically lacked a full deck, and thus were also called unfenced vessels (ἄφρακτοι νῆες, áphraktoi nḗes).

Homer describes war ships during the Trojan War of various numbers of oars varying from twenty-oared, such as the ship that brought Chryseis back to her father, to fifty-oared, as Odysseus’ ship that had fifty men and as many as 120 men of the Boeotian ships.

According to some contemporary calculations, penteconters are believed to have been between 28 and 33 m (92 and 108 ft) long, approximately 4 m wide, and capable of reaching a top speed of 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph). However, modern reconstructions of penteconters, as well as other ancient ship designs such as triremes, manned by modern untrained amateurs, attained that top speed fairly easily on initial sea trials, which implies that the top speed of that type of ship in the ancient era had to be substantially higher. Ancient Greeks also used the triaconter or triacontor (τριακόντορος triakontoros), a shorter version of the penteconter with thirty oars. There is a general agreement that the trireme, the primary warship of classical antiquity, evolved from the penteconter via the bireme. The penteconter remained in use until the Hellenistic period, when it became complemented and eventually replaced by other designs, such as the lembos, the hemiolia and the liburnians.

Libya 1983 100dh sg 1304, scott
Vietnam 1986 3d sg 991, scott1689

ADEN 1856

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ADEN 1856

Postby aukepalmhof » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:34 pm

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I believe and Mr. Crichton also that it is an artistic license of a ship depict on this stamp from a much later date. From Mr. Huang Guojian from China I got that China sources give she is the ex P& O Liner ADEN built in 1856. She was the first ship owned by the China Merchant Steam Navigation Co. in Shanghai.
I have the book P&O a Fleet History by the World Ship Society the book did not have a photo of the ship, so I am very suspicious if the ship depict is the right vessel, all the P& O liners from that time were built with a clipper bow and one funnel and were rigged as a sailing vessel. And when the World Ship Society not has a photo of the ship most probably there exist not one. I believe the ship depict is from a much later date than 1856.

From China post comes:

An issuance ceremony of special stamps by China Post commemorating the 140th anniversary of China Merchants, organized by the Merchants Group and China Post, was held at the National Museum of China in Beijing on October 26. 2012

The special stamps include three with the titles "Establishing Business by Pujiang River", "Development at Shekou", and "Making Greater Achievements".

China Merchants, established in 1872 when China was still in the late Qing Dynasty, is China's first enterprise of China's modern history. It has experienced 140 years of development, symbolizing the uncommon development history of China's national enterprises. It is a good representative of China's national business and industry, which has established China's first modern industrial zone, the Shekou Industrial Zone in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province since the opening-up and reform of China in the late 1970s. It has now developed into a large corporate group with key businesses in transportation, finance and real estate in the new century.

The following URL has ADEN history under P&O flag: ... 856pdf.pdf

Built as a passenger-cargo liner by the yard of Summers Day & Co., Northam, Southampton for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O).
21 May 1856 launched as the DELTA.
Tonnage 812 gross, 507 net, dim. 78.49 x 9.08 x 5.63m
Powered by two direct-acting trunk steam engines, manufactured by the shipbuilder, 954 ihp, one screw, speed 12 knots, during trials she reached a speed of 14.5 knots.
Accommodation for 112 first class, 22 second class.
Cargo capacity 590 tons.
While she was fitted out she was renamed in ADEN in anticipation of P&O taken over the Suez/Bombay mail service from the East India Company.
23 August 1856 after she ran trials she was handed over to the P&O.

27 August 1856 sailed from Southampton for her maiden voyage to Gibraltar.
01 October 1856 sailed from Southampton to Bombay where she arrived on 27 December.
08 March 1857 made a trooping voyage to the Persian Gulf.
12 March 1858 based at Hong Kong for most of the rest of her career under P& O flag.
28 February 1863 broke her propeller shaft and lost her screw off Amoy, and returning to Hong Kong under sail.
02 March 1863 was towed in at Hong Kong by the CADIZ.
12 March 1863 again in service after repair at Whampoa.
02 August 1864 refitted with new boilers at Bombay at the same time all her deckhouses, bulwarks, forecastle, spars and rigging were renewed.
Her passenger capacity decreased to 33 first class.
November 1872 sold to Prefect Chu, Shanghai for £15,000 and immediately resold to China Merchants Steam Navigation Co, Shanghai, not renamed.
1875 Reduced to a hulk.

China sources give that she was wrecked on 31 March 1879 in Dagu, Tianjin port with the loss of 52 persons. (I think the Chinese sources are more accurate over her fate.)

Sources: The all mentioned book. Mr Huang Guojian.

China 2012 1.20f sg?, scott?
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